It’s a question that commonly comes up in the choice of an indoor fireplace, and one that also arises in the choice of an outdoor fire pit for your Northeast Ohio yard.
The best way to decide which route to take between these different types of fire pits is thinking through the style and layout of your backyard, as well as considering the maintenance side of things.
Do You Prefer a More Natural or Contemporary Look?
If you’re going for more of a nature-inspired outdoor living space — think rock waterfalls, a living fence made of native trees and shrubs, sandstone-inspired pathways — a wood-burning fire pit is an ideal, aesthetically-pleasing complement. This fire pit style boasts a traditional look that mimics the campfire feel (and smells) right at home.
When a contemporary landscape design is more your speed, a gas fire pit may be a better fit visually. Modern landscape designs not only blend a mix of textures and colors — from stylish patio pavers with defined borders, to cedar pergolas with stone pillars — but they also strive to blur the lines of indoor and outdoor living. A gas fire pit adds to this sophisticated ambiance while providing the convenience of a location closer to the home, as sparks and embers from an open flame aren’t a concern.
Which Fuel Source Is More Convenient on Your Property?
Firewood is easy to source for wood-burning fire pits, often requiring only a quick trip to the store for refills from time to time. Note that if a fuel source is stored outdoors, it should be covered to keep it dry and usable amid bad weather and deter the presence of pests.
In the case of gas fire pits, the fuel source conversation can be more complex. Natural gas fire pits, for instance, require a natural gas line to be installed as a fuel source. Sometimes a gas line will already be available for use in the landscape, but there are other times a professional will need to come on-site to install the new line and get your gas fire pit up and running. Alternatively, you can opt for a fire pit that runs off a propane tank and only requires the occasional refill.
How Much Maintenance Are You Comfortable With?
With their camp-like style, wood-burning fire pits naturally require a bit more work to set up, sustain, and eventually put out. What’s more, because of the ash and soot that the wood-burning fires leave in their wake, homeowners need to shovel out this debris on a regular basis — waiting until after the debris has cooled to transfer them into the trash.
Gas fire pits simply require the press of a button to turn flames on and off, and so they require much less work on the part of homeowners to operate. And without any ashes or soot to clean up afterwards, you save yourself steps on the back end — with the only real to-do being to wipe down the fire pit and apply a cover to the feature as preferred.
Gas or Wood-Burning Fire Pit? The Decision Is Yours
Outdoor fire pits are a popular addition to landscapes for many reasons, from the warmth they provide in the cooler months to the entertainment value they add to backyards. But like other elements of landscape design, these features come with various options that need to be considered before it’s time to move full speed ahead.
While the decision between a wood-burning fire pit or a propane or natural gas fire pit is no doubt a balancing act, making the considerations above can help steer you down the right path. By partnering with a landscape designer and installer like Green Impressions, you can rely on our design expertise to help you come up with the ideal solution for your outdoor living space and use industry best practices to bring them to life.